Race Report: Fred Lebow Half

DATE: JANUARY 23; 8:00 AM

DISTANCE: 13.1 MI

PLACE: CENTRAL PARK, MANHATTAN, NY

WEATHER:  28F 

OFFICAL TIME / PACE: 2:22:33/ 10:31MIN/MI

FINISHERS: 4,573

SWAG: Beanie

Image courtesy of NYpost.com

Fred Lebow (June 3, 1932 – October 9, 1994), born Fischel Lebowitz, was a runner, race director, and founder of the New York City Marathon. During his career he completed 69 marathons in 30 countries. Along with the NYC Marathon he also organized the Empire State Building Run-Up, the Fifth Avenue Mile, and the CrazyLegs Mini Marathon (a 10K road race), which was the first strictly women-only road race. Lebow was also president of New York Road Runners for twenty years. He was posthumously inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2001.

Wikipedia
Fred Lebow statue in Central Park

Woo Hoo (I think) for my first half marathon of 2022! As some may recall, I would like to run either a full or half marathon during each month in 2022. I guess that we have one down and eleven to go.

Since Fred Lebow was my first half of 2022, I did not have high hopes going into the race because this half was going to serve as a baseline (or time to beat going forward). In terms of NYRR-sponsored races, I think this race is tough.

I guess that would be the case for any NYRR-sponsored race that involves multiple Central Park loops.

While the course is essentially two large loops in Central Park, we have THREE steep Harlem Hill climbs, and those hills are no joke.

Pre-start to Mile 1:

To be perfectly honest, I was not feeling the race due to the weather and my physical state. I was a bit of a goofball and did a workout, which focused on the lower body, and attended a bouldering technique class the day before the race. The morning of the race, I woke up with a little bit of soreness in my calves and the right side of my back. While the plan was to walk/jog to the starting line, which is about 0.75 miles from my apartment, I decided to take the bus.

Selfie on the M1 bus

LOL @ the bus driver being concerned about my safety. He was like where are ALL of your clothes? It’s cold out there. To which I responded: Don’t worry, sir. I’m wearing plenty of layers.

During the little jog to the start line, my body was like dude, this is going to be a struggle. Within the first 200 meters past the start line, I (sadly) decided to walk the first mile and see how I was feeling after walking the first mile. This walk was to get my mind right and to see the light. Also, the big hill is within the first mile of the course so I figured that it would not be too bad to walk the first hill.

Mile 1 – 4:

While walking the first mile, I decided to break up the half into four three-mile segments . . . . IF I was feeling up to running after walking the first mile. Fortunately for me (and my time), I was up to the challenge after walking the first mile. Going forward, I think that I should warm up and remove some layers BEFORE starting a race. Actually, that has always been the plan, but either I wake up too late or my poop schedule interferes with this plan. I don’t know why, but I think there is something about having to wear a lot of clothes that mentally takes me out of running long distances. During my walk, I had to remove my gloves, beanie, and gaiter. After removing these items, I became more engaged with the race.

I think that the first segment went well because I managed to run the entire three miles. Hey, that was a big accomplishment from debating on walking the entire half or going home after walking the first mile. My pace for this segment was 11’06, which is slow but it is within my long-run training pace.

Mile 4 – 7:

Ok, this is the point where I finally started to get into my groove (pace: 10’09”). Also, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel since I completed the first of the two Central Park loops. I was a bit concerned that I was going “too fast” because of doing the big hill again at mile 12. Random thought: my running playlist was pretty much on point because I do not remember skipping too many songs during this segment. While running this segment, I was annoyed that I had to tie my shoes . . . twice.

Mile 7 – 10:

Honestly, I do not remember much during this segment, but I did slow my pace to 10’48”. I think that I was still scared of the final three miles that included another Harlem Hill. Oh wait, I do remember doing some fartleks during mile 7 or 8.

Mile 10 – 13.1:

Let’s bring this bad boy home. While I picked up the pace (9’44”), this segment felt slower for me. Funny how the mind can play games with you. I remember running more frequent fartleks and 0.25 – 0.5 mile “sprints”. Although I had been dreading the final Harlem Hill, I was up to the challenge and even did fartleks (probably about 50 meters) on the last hill. I was surprised that I still had some gas in the tank to sprint up the last portion of the hill and to the finish line. Boy, if only I could have run the entire half at a 9’44” pace. One day . . . maybe.

While this was not my best half, it was not the worse, and I think it will serve as a nice baseline as I move through my resolution to run a half (or full ) marathon each month this year.

Song of the race:

Go_A’s Shum.

While I have no idea what the lead singer is singing or what the song is even about (the song is in Ukrainian), this song really gets my blood pumping. FYI: this band landed in the top five of Eurovision 2021.

Next Race:

Rock n Roll New Orleans – Feb 06, 2022

Questions of the day:

How were your weekend races or other weekend accomplishments?

Do you know of a program where you can input the GPS data from multiple courses and have the program spit out the elevation on one graph/set of axes? I’d like to compare my finishing times with the courses’ elevations.

Social Media Plug:

6 comments

    • Thanks. I was a bit afraid about the walk. I had the mentality of if I’m walking the 1st mile, then there is no way that I’m going to walk or slow jog 12 more miles . . . especially in 26F temperatures.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I plan on asking folks from my running groups to see if they know of such program/app. I think it would be a great way to compare your times on various courses. You know, maybe a 2hr half marathon in Central Park would be like running a 1:45 (maybe not that significant of a difference) in New Orleans.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well done! On Strava you get that Gradient Adjusted Pace in your per-mile breakdown and graph but I don’t know if it will translate – maybe there’s a strava extension like Elevate for it?

    I ran 8 miles on Sunday which was my furthest for a good while (probably since that half where I fell back in Oct) so I was pleased with that. We just went round the canals and enjoyed ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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